Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 4

LA Angels leads 2-0 (as of 9/5)

Game 1: Thursday, September 4
LA Angels5Final
Minnesota4
Game 2: Friday, September 5
LA Angels7Final
in 10
Minnesota6
Game 3: Saturday, September 6
LA Angels8Final
Minnesota5
Game 4: Sunday, September 7
LA Angels14Final
Minnesota4

Angels 7

(85-55, 38-31 away)

Twins 6

(61-80, 30-40 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 5, 2014

    Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    12345678910 R H E
    LAA 1101000301 7 13 0
    MIN 1101010020 6 11 2

    W: H. Street (1-1)

    L: J. Burton (2-4)

    S: K. Jepsen (2)

    Angels-Twins Preview

    STATS LLC

    Matt Shoemaker was the best pitcher in baseball last month. Opening his September slate against the last-place Minnesota Twins could keep his strong stretch going.

    Shoemaker faces the Twins for the first time Friday and will try to help the Los Angeles Angels to their longest win streak against Minnesota in 24 years.

    The Angels (84-55) sit atop the AL West with a five-game lead on second-place Oakland and can move 30 games above .500 for the first time this late in a season since ending 2002 at 99-63 before winning their only World Series.

    Sending Shoemaker (14-4, 3.14 ERA) to the mound gives Los Angeles a good chance to get there after he went 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA in seven games -- six starts -- to earn the AL pitcher and rookie of the month awards for August.

    The right-hander, who turns 28 later this month, has won five straight games behind a 0.59 ERA, and he's trying to become the first Angels rookie to win six straight appearances since Jered Weaver won seven in a row in 2006.

    "Matt's been really important to us and making the most of his opportunity," manager Mike Scioscia told MLB's website. "Who knows? Five more wins, maybe it's a Cy Young?

    "There's always contributions from guys you wouldn't have seen in the crystal ball out of spring training, and that's an understatement to say he's been one of those guys."

    Shoemaker is also riding 23 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the second longest streak by an Angels rookie behind Bob Lee's 27 in 1964. He's also put together three straight scoreless outings of at least seven innings, the first for the club since Nolan Ryan in 1976 and '77.

    "It's an honor to be mentioned by that name," Shoemaker said.

    Another superb performance could also help Los Angeles win five straight against the Twins (61-79) in a single season for the first time since 1990.

    Chris Iannetta secured the latest victory Thursday, connecting for a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win to open this four-game set at Target Field.

    Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and David Freese had two hits and one RBI apiece in the opener, and they're collectively hitting .400 against Minnesota this season. Freese has had the most success against Twins starter Ricky Nolasco, going 7 for 15 (.467).

    Nolasco (5-10, 5.96) is 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in his previous five starts, and the past four have come after he returned from a right elbow strain that landed him on the disabled list for nearly six weeks.

    The veteran right-hander was pounded Sunday, surrendering eight runs, 12 hits -- two homers -- in five innings of a 12-8 loss at Baltimore. That came five days after he threw seven scoreless innings and didn't get a decision in a 2-1 defeat at Kansas City.

    "He obviously had the arm injury and is trying to find his way back," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "There were times it looked like he was doing OK, but it wasn't as sharp as his last outing."

    He wasn't sharp at all in Los Angeles on June 26, allowing six runs and 11 hits in six-plus innings of a 6-4 loss.

    Nolasco, though, isn't the only pitcher struggling for the Twins, whose staff has a 5.92 ERA while serving up 16 homers during a 4-9 stretch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Gameday Matchup

     Los AngelesMinnesota
    W-L96-6166-90
    Night76-4635-54
    Grass91-5962-88
    Current StreakL2L3
    Last 104-64-6

    Pitching Matchup

    Los AngelesMinnesota
    M. Shoemaker
    16-4, 3.04 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/15 vs SEA
    7.2 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win
    R. Nolasco
    5-12, 5.47 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/22 vs ARI
    4.2 IP, 5 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Los AngelesMinnesota
    1. K. Calhoun, RF D. Santana, CF
    2. M. Trout, CF B. Dozier, 2B
    3. A. Pujols, 1B J. Mauer, 1B
    4. H. Kendrick, 2B K. Vargas, DH
    5. E. Aybar, SS T. Plouffe, 3B
    6. D. Freese, 3B O. Arcia, RF
    7. B. Boesch, DH J. Pinto, C
    8. C. Iannetta, C C. Herrmann, LF
    9. E. Navarro, LF A. Hicks, LF